My interview with the People’s Pharmacy radio program was broadcast on October 10. Visit (http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2009/10/10/743-saving-your-skin/)
I thought the program, which was focused mostly on dermatology, went well. I was also able to speak on some other issues about which I have a lot of passion — in particular, patient satisfaction.
Unfortunately, I did not communicate one of my points very clearly, and a physician who had been listening to the show felt that I had insulted family physicians and posted a comment on the People’s Pharmacy Web site. Because I have enormous respect for family physicians and other primary care doctors, I felt terrible about the misunderstanding. But I greatly appreciate that the doctor wrote to me and to the show to let me know his feelings. It gave me an opportunity to respond to him and others, clarifying what I meant. More importantly, the feedback made me realize that in future radio programs I need to be more clear and explicit in letting listeners know exactly what I mean.
Ironically, this is the same kind of communication problem that doctors and patients —and everyone else — face day in and day out. At least in medicine we have one solution: give patients clear, written directions describing the diagnosis and treatment plan. But doctors, like everyone else, often don’t hear themselves and think they have communicated clearly when they have not. That is why it is so important for patients to help doctors by giving them the feedback about their communication style. I’ve said it many times: Feedback helps doctors do what they want to do most, which is to give their patients great medical care.